Preserve PS 111's Quality of Education

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PETITION FOR STUDENTS RIGHTS:

Stop the NYCDOE from violating students’ rights in order to cut costs. They want to co-locate two schools in one building without disclosing or addressing negative impacts. Please sign our petition to hold the DOE accountable and protect our student’s right to a quality education.

We the below signed community members and parents & guardians of the students of P.S. 111 Adolph Ochs Elementary School, located at 440 W 53rd street, express deep concerns about the Dept. of Education’s plan to move or co-locate the City Knoll Middle School (MS 933) presently located at 425 W 33rd Street into PS 111 without providing a thought out, school specific and actionable Educational Impact Statement (EIS) that meets minimum standards of quality. The DOE’s main reason for co-location is cost rather than educational improvement.  PS 111 was a K-8 school until 2013 and the school struggled to increase test scores. In 2013, the DOE approved plans to reduce it to K-5, removing the middle school. In the five years that PS 111 was solely an elementary school, its students’ test scores significantly improved. Since the school and test scores improved, PS 111 not only continues to attract families from and around Hell’s Kitchen but now as far as the Upper East Side. To now reverse what has improved the quality of education at PS 111 and add a middle school to the improving elementary school would likely negatively impact the growth of the elementary school and the quality of education for all.

The DOE seeks to put the proposal to a final vote by the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) on December 19th so they can implement the plan by September 2019. However, the EIS that the DOE published does not explain how the co-location is going to impact both PS 111 and MS 933. The proposed EIS simply states that the co-location will not have adverse impact on the children’s education without any backup data or analysis.

For example, the EIS does not account for:

1. how the use of the library, gym, cafeteria, auditorium, and school yard will be apportioned and limited;  
2. how the bathrooms are going to be shared by elementary and middle school children on the floors where certain facilities will be shared (e.g. library, gym, cafeteria, auditorium, etc.);
3. how special needs children will lose the use of windowed classrooms and will be relegated to basement offices, cafeteria and hallways for speech and physical therapy sessions;  
4. how the functional needs of students with disabilities will be handled if therapists are forced to work in non-therapy rooms.
5. how security is going to be staffed and managed with both elementary and middle school students using the same entrance, hallways, and stairwells.

Please help us in demanding that the DOE follow the law that requires the Educational Impact Statement to outline explicitly and specifically the impact of the co-location proposal on our children’s education. Simply saying that the co-location will have NO impact:

1. violates the law;
2. violates the fundamental rights of students for quality educational environment;
3. serves to cut corners and cost with no benefit for those who pay taxes; and
4. may impact the overall community by depressing the economic environment of the neighboring real estate and businesses because families will start seeking alternative schools and neighborhoods with a better education environment.  

In 2010, then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio questioned how the DOE proceeded with school closings and co-location without an adequate EIS: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1orFStfMaJFQnBqNDnQgKa_VZSz9w67P1  

Thank you for your support.

Please also consider supporting PS 111's Parent Teacher Association, https://www.111pta.org Your support will help PTA's mission to enhance the education of our children.